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Stranger

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After first finding out why Eren and Armin were back a day early—which they claimed was because they’d missed her—Mikasa had a quick shower and then left to buy the food. Annie had responded by text, as Mikasa had asked, but she was more frantic than helpful. She didn’t, in fact, choose a selection for dinner. So Mikasa decided to get both Pizza and sushi. She knew that Annie was fine with either. That resulted in Mikasa taking longer than an hour, since she had to travel to two places, order the food and then wait. When she got back to her apartment building, an hour and a half had passed by.

Mikasa’s stomach was twisting in knots, but most of her was excited. Annie had been able to keep an edge on her this entire time, but now she was the one with the power, with the ability to make Annie pace around her living room in anxiety. At least, Mikasa flattered herself with the assumption that she bothered Annie that much. For all she knew Annie could be watching TV or reading a book, with not a care in the world.

Mikasa quickly headed up the stairs and straight for Annie’s door number. Her stomach twisted tighter, her heart felt like it was struggling to pump blood through her veins, and each step became a little heavier—seriously, was she on some kind of drug or something? Mikasa was aware that she had a definite attraction to Annie, but it all lied heavily on physical appearance and sarcasm. She loved the sharp look in Annie’s eyes, the playful though wicked smirk on her lips. All of which she had only seen in pictures. Would the real thing be the same? Better, even?

She came to a stop in front of the door, panting. The box of pizza and plastic bag containing the sushi weighed heavily in her arms. She had never been this nervous before, but then again, she had never backed down from anything either. So Mikasa managed around her armful of food and knocked three times on the door, firm and steady. And then she waited.

An entire minute must have passed before Mikasa finally heard movement from inside. Each second that ticked by added to her stress, and when the door finally opened, Mikasa was standing as stiff as a rod. Her eyes widened immediately, and the warm beat of her heart became hotter, harder. She had to swallow hard, because Annie was standing right there in the doorway, staring with that gaze Mikasa thought she knew. It was actually so, so much better in person. Mikasa wasn’t sure if she wanted to melt or run away.

“Mikasa?” Annie enquired, a perfect eyebrow lifted. “You actually came?”

Mikasa exhaled deeply and then allowed herself to grin. For all the nervousness, she still felt incredibly smug. “Took you a while to open the door,” she teased.

Annie squared her shoulders and looked on with a fierce expression of defiance, but her cheeks lit very slightly with colour. “I was just… I was on my way,” she explained. She seemed entirely too calm, but something about the rigidity of her jaw told Mikasa that she was in fact very nervous.

“From doing what? Putting on your makeup?”

Annie rolled her eyes and then moved aside for Mikasa to step inside. “Are you going to actually come inside, smart ass, or stand out there all night?”

Mikasa was shocked to find herself flush, and she hurriedly obeyed by stepping past Annie and into the living room. Annie was small in stature, but she took up most of the doorway space. Mikasa had no choice but to brush up against her, and her heart spiked with adrenalin as she did. Physical attraction, check.

“Since you were too panicked to pick, I decided on both,” Mikasa said, lifting her arms to show the pizza and sushi.

“Pizza and sushi together?” Annie asked. She shut the door and then padded over to the couch. A large, fluffy blanket lay strewn across the floor, and the way it was twisted around made Mikasa wonder if Annie hadn’t fallen over. “That’s gross.”

“Then don’t eat it all together,” Mikasa argued.

“Well duh.”

Annie plopped down on the couch, not offering Mikasa anything or indicating where she could sit. Before Mikasa ended up standing around awkwardly, she simply sat down beside Annie and then placed the food on the coffee table. Her stomach rumbled loudly, and Annie had the audacity to laugh out right.

“Ah, so you’re as hungry as you are thirsty.”

Mikasa grinned and shook her head. “Rhetoric aside, I actually am thirsty. Could I have some water?”

Annie nodded and pointed behind her. “Kitchen is there. See what you want from the fridge.”

“What a fantastic host,” Mikasa exclaimed. “I think you should host parties.”

Annie finally blushed this time, and she suddenly seemed very bothered. Mikasa was entirely too amused by this. “Shut up, Asian,” Annie shot back, though not nastily.

“Did I hurt your feelings?”

“I’ll hurt something of yours soon.”

Mikasa laughed and stood to get herself something from the fridge. There was at least a bottle of water, so she grabbed that and spoke as she walked back to the couch. “You know, your last threat didn’t really happen either. That one about finding me and choking me with my underwear.”

Annie looked over her shoulder, and a sudden hot wave of attraction washed over Mikasa at the way Annie’s blue eyes glared ice right through her. Beyond them, Mikasa could see fountains of amusement. 

“Oh? But what if this is all part of my plan? Lure you here and then choke you with your underwear?”

“That would require you to undress me first,” Mikasa pointed out.

“I’m sure you’d enjoy that,” Annie shot back. She quickly turned and gazed back at the television screen.

They fell silent then, finally giving in to the weight of their nerves and weariness. Mikasa glanced over at Annie and couldn’t believe that after all this, the messages and the phone calls, that they had finally met in person. Perhaps it hadn’t even really hit her yet. Annie was certainly as amazing as Mikasa had hoped, maybe even more so. She was fiery and sassy, and just the way her eyes blazed bright made Mikasa’s blood boil in the best way. Annie would challenge her every step of the way. Mikasa couldn’t wait. Annie must have eventually felt her gaze, because she seemed to stiffen and then she turned to look at Mikasa again.

“What?”

Mikasa’s stomach flipped and her heart skipped a beat. She felt her cheeks warm because of the way Annie stared, but couldn’t stop herself from grinning. “Well,” she said. “I was just thinking that you’re more than I was expecting.”

Annie lifted a brow. “Meaning?”

Mikasa looked away, embarrassed now. This was going to sound so weird, especially since they had only really met that day, and anonymously a few days ago. Eren and Armin were no doubt worried as well. But Mikasa decided that it didn’t matter. She definitely liked Annie. Hopefully Annie liked her too.

“Meaning, that you’ve exceeded my expectations.”

“Is that your weird way of complimenting me?”

Mikasa rolled her eyes. “I’m trying to say that you’re amazing.”

Annie snorted, but her cheeks were very red. “So charming.”

“I did say that I am.”

“And I suppose you are as hot as you said, too.”

“Oh?”

“Mm-hm.”

“So…” Mikasa nervously scratched her cheek, and then she took a breath. “So would it be appropriate for me to ask you out on a date? For real? Like, romantically.”

“What, we can’t just be gals being pals?”

“Annie.”

Annie laughed then, a sound so smug yet musical that it sand in Mikasa’s ears. She decided that she definitely liked it when Annie laughed.

“Yes then,” Annie breathed, still laughing. There was a sparkle in her eyes, one that Mikasa saw instantly. “Of course yes, you idiot.”

Mikasa sighed. “What have I gotten myself into?”

But Annie had said yes. And Annie was still laughing. She was amused and happy, and seeing her like this, beyond just a screen, made Mikasa’s knees shake. She smiled, all too pleased with herself. Annie had said yes.

“You know, I’m really glad that out of all the million different numbers out there, I accidentally messaged yours.”

Annie stopped laughing immediately. She grew very silent, very still. Slowly, almost hesitantly, she scooted closer until their sides were touching. And then she tentatively took Mikasa’s hand and slipped hers around it. “Yeah, me too,” she said. “I managed to like you after only a few days, and I usually hate people until years and years.”

“Should I be flattered?”

Annie huffed, gave her hand a squeeze. “I just said I like you, Miss Murder by Underwear.”

Mikasa chuckled softly. She leaned into Annie, playfully bumped their shoulders. “Yeah,” she said. “I like you too.”

“Want to watch Orange is the New Black while we eat sushi?”

Mikasa loved the way Annie grinned naughtily. “I’d love to, Annie.”